You must first login or register to follow this artist. X
HomePage Artists

b. 1933, USA

Sam Gilliam Biography

Sam Gilliam (b. 1933, Tupelo, Mississippi) is one the great innovators in postwar American painting. He emerged from the Washington, D.C. scene in the mid 1960s with works that elaborated upon and disrupted the ethos of Color School painting. A series of formal breakthroughs would soon result in his canonical 'Drape' paintings, which expanded upon the tenets of Abstract Expressionism in entirely new ways. Suspending stretcherless lengths of painted canvas from the walls or ceilings of exhibition spaces, Gilliam transformed his medium and the contexts in which it was viewed. For an African-American artist in the nation’s capital at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, this was not merely an aesthetic proposition; it was a way of defining art’s role in a society undergoing dramatic change. Gilliam has subsequently pursued a pioneering course in which experimentation has been the only constant. Inspired by the improvisatory ethos of jazz, his lyrical abstractions continue to take on an increasing variety of forms, moods, and materials.

Read More

In addition to a traveling retrospective organised by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in 2005, Sam Gilliam has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1971); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (1982); Whitney Museum of American Art, Philip Morris Branch, New York (1993); J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (1996); Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (2011); and Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2018), among many other institutions. A semi-permanent installation of Gilliam’s paintings will open at Dia:Beacon in August 2019. His work is included in over fifty public collections, including those of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Text courtesy Pace Gallery.

Sam Gilliam Featured Artworks

View All (37)
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2019Watercolour and acrylic on washi paper
185.4 x 97.8 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2019Watercolour and acrylic on washi paper
185.4 x 97.8 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2011Acrylic on polypropylene
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2019Watercolour and acrylic on washi paper
185.4 x 96.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2019Watercolour and acrylic on washi paper
185.4 x 96.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamUntitled, 2019 Pace Gallery
Green April by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam GilliamGreen April, 1969Acrylic on canvas
248.9 x 688.3 x 9.8 cm
Pace Gallery
10/27/69 by Sam Gilliam contemporary artwork
Sam Gilliam10/27/69, 1969Acrylic on canvas
Pace Gallery

Sam Gilliam Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Sam Gilliam, Starting: Works on Paper 1967–1970 at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
Closed
16 March–27 April 2019 Sam Gilliam Starting: Works on Paper 1967–1970 David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

Sam Gilliam Represented By

Sam Gilliam In Ocula Magazine

ADAA The Art Show 2020 Ocula Photolog ADAA The Art Show 2020

Members of The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) joined forces for The Art Show at the end of February (27 February–1 March 2020). The 2020 iteration saw more than half of its presentations dedicated to a single artist and 19 exhibitions focused on female artists, in addition to vibrant thematic and group surveys.

Fade out copy.
View More

Sam Gilliam In Related Press

Your Concise New York Art Guide for Fall 2019 Related Press Your Concise New York Art Guide for Fall 2019 10 September 2019, Hyperallergic

As always, there are many wonderful exhibitions, film festivals, and art events taking place throughout the fall in New York. We've put together our recommendations, and hope that they encourage you to explore the artistic happenings of this great city. Focusing on museums, art nonprofits, and galleries that continue to make New York a global hub...

Fade out copy.
Read More
SAM GILLIAM with Tom McGlynn Related Press SAM GILLIAM with Tom McGlynn 5 September 2019, The Brooklyn Rail

At its very core, the intrinsic value of art—which can be disruptive, unpredictable, and at the very least challenging—has tremendous transformative and healing incentives. Whether it occurs at the first encounter or over time, the implications for the viewer, be they formal or emotional, are simultaneously simple and complex, generous...

Fade out copy.
Read More
The Colors of the Sixties Related Press The Colors of the Sixties 6 April 2019, Hyperallergic

The eighth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, as David Breslin, the Director of the Collection, sees it, is 'a place for surprises.' The elegant spaces of the museum's top floor, catching the light off the river through its skylights and glass walls, have felt enchanted ever since it opened in 2015 with the Early Modernist 'Forms...

Fade out copy.
Read More
London exhibitions: black rights on both sides of the Atlantic and Middle Eastern spaceship diners Related Press London exhibitions: black rights on both sides of the Atlantic and Middle Eastern spaceship diners 1 September 2017, The Art Newspaper

What a show! Each section and, indeed, pretty much each individual in this rich but rigorous celebration of black artists working in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, could spin off into a separate exhibition in its own right. The various responses to the black civil rights movement and what it meant to be a black artist in this turbulent time range...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Sam Gilliam are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;
iCal
GoogleYahooOutlook